US President Donald Trump has signed orders to advance the construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines, a pair of projects that were blocked by the Obama administration due in part to environmental concerns.
The move is expected to be cheered by Republicans and some union groups who backed the projects.
However it has angered Standing Rock protestors and already a demonstration has been organised for Washington DC. Big banks supporting the project are being boycotted by supporters.
— Rebeccca (@simplyrebecca8) January 24, 2017
Former President Barack Obama stopped the proposed Keystone XL pipeline in late 2015, declaring it would have undercut US efforts to clinch a global climate change deal that was a centrepiece of his environmental legacy.
The Standing Rock Sioux tribe and its supporters say the project threatens drinking water and Native American sites, though Energy Transfer Partners, the company that wants to build the pipeline, disputes that and says the pipeline will be safe.
The pipeline would run from Canada to US refineries in the Gulf Coast.
The US government needed to approve the pipeline because it crossed the border.
Separately, late last year, the Army Corps of Engineers declined to allow construction of the Dakota Access pipeline under Lake Oahe, saying alternative routes needed to be considered.
— ACLU National (@ACLU) January 24, 2017
The pipeline is to carry North Dakota oil through South Dakota and Iowa to a shipping point in Illinois.
— ABC News (@ABC) January 24, 2017
Trump has moved swiftly this week to make good on some of his core campaign pledges he says are aimed at creating jobs and growing the economy.
On Monday, he signed a memorandum withdrawing the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, a proposed accord with 11 Pacific Rim countries and another of Obama’s prized accomplishments.
“Great thing for the American worker what we just did,” Trump said as he signed the order in the Oval Office.
Yet even as Trump moves to implement his agenda, he is still making false claims.
During a reception with lawmakers at the White House Monday evening, Trump claimed the reason he’d lost the popular vote to Democratic rival Hillary Clinton was that 3 million to 5 million immigrants living in the US illegally had voted.
That’s according to a Democratic aide familiar with the exchange who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private meeting.
There is no evidence to support Trump’s claim.
He made a similar statement on Twitter in late November that he had won the Electoral College in a “landslide” and “won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”
On Tuesday, Trump summoned the heads of the big three American automakers, General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler, for a breakfast meeting at the White House.
He pledged to scrap regulations and reduce taxes on corporations that keep jobs in the US, though he did not specify his plans for either.
Meanwhile he continues to do his best to boost the fortunes of Twitter – his presidential inauguration was the most–watched live stream ever on the platform.
Twitter’s live stream of “PBS NewsHour” coverage reached 6.824 million unique viewers, edging out BuzzFeed’s November election night coverage.